Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Giving patients a Voice

People in the Philadelphia area probably already have heard that American Idol host Ryan Seacrest was at CHOP, but for everyone else, let me tell you what happened. Ryan has a charitable foundation that has created a program called The Voice.

Giving patients a Voice

Rachel and other patients join American Idol host Ryan Seacrest for the launch of The Voice.
Rachel and other patients join American Idol host Ryan Seacrest for the launch of The Voice.

Last Friday was a special day for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia -- and for me.

People in the Philadelphia area probably already have heard that American Idol host Ryan Seacrest was at CHOP, but for everyone else, let me tell you what happened.  Ryan has a charitable foundation that has created a program called The Voice.

It provides a multi-media center where patients can go, away from their rooms, and be creative.  And the best part is that whatever happens in that media center can be broadcast throughout the hospital on a special closed-circuit TV station. Patients can play songs like a DJ, or interview people, or even air a performance. The Voice center is located inside CHOP’s Colket Atrium.

I was one of the lucky patients who got to meet Ryan and be with him in the atrium while he was interviewed by The Today Show host Matt Lauer.  Ryan is an awesome person.  I think he is one of the nicest people on earth!  Ryan also brought Selena Gomez, the singer, to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.  She was supposed to be a surprise, but it leaked out that she was going to be there.  I didn’t get to meet her but I was sitting very close to her.  She sang a song while a patient accompanied her on a guitar.

Another surprise was Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers.  In fact, it was such a secret that I didn’t even see him!


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About this blog
Rachel Kovach, 12, is a seventh-grader at Mother Theresa Regional School in Atlantic Highlands, N.J. She lives in Highlands, N.J., near the Sandy Hook national seashore, with her parents, Mari and Kurt Kovach.

Since first grade, Rachel has been swimming with the Monmouth Barracudas, a year-round competitive United States Swimming Club program. She hopes to continue competitive swimming after her cancer treatment; if not, she envisions coaching someday or maybe a career in medicine. Figure skating and jazz dancing have been big parts of her life. One of the things she hates about being in the hospital is missing her dog Cocoa and her many friends.

Rachel's doctors

These are the key physicians overseeing Rachel’s care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:

Naomi BalamuthNaomi Balamuth, pediatric oncologist, specializes in treating pediatric sarcomas, a subset of solid tumors.

 

 

Richard B. WomerRichard B. Womer, pediatric oncologist, led studies of the latest chemotherapy treatment protocol for Ewing’s sarcoma.

 

 

John P. DormansJohn P. Dormans, M.D., chief of orthopaedic surgery, is an international expert in the surgical treatment of musculoskeletal tumors.

 

Timeline of Rachel Kovach’s Treatment

Dec. 3, 2010: Pain in Rachel's right knee is initially diagnosed as tendinitis.

Jan. 20: An MRI reveals a tumor in right leg.

Jan 24: Rachel sees John Dormans, chief of orthopedic surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Jan. 27: A biopsy confirms Ewing's sarcoma.

February to mid-April: Regimens of chemotherapy alternate every other week. The three-drug regimen is given over two days; the two-drug regimen is given over five days.

May 3: Surgery replaces most of the right femur with a prosthesis.

May 5: A Children's Hospital team will help Rachel get out of bed.

May 10 to September: Alternating regimens of chemotherapy are to resume.

Around May 10: Physical therapy will begin in the hospital and continue for at least several months after Rachel goes home.

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